How Texas Compares When It Comes To Commuting

New numbers from the federal government confirm what many Texans already know. People around here like to drive to work by themselves. But those numbers aren’t that far behind the national average.

medical-center-traffic-400px-310px-tn.pngHouston traffic in the Texas Medical Center

Figures show about 80% of people in the Houston region drive to work by themselves. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, that number also extends to the rest of the state.

Researcher Jonathan Brooks with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute says a lot of Texans simply don’t have another option.

“In the rural areas especially that’s the case. A person really needs a vehicle or needs to know someone with a vehicle, or find some other kind of assistance to make their trip to work,” explains Brooks.

So how does Texas measure up to the rest of the country? Apparently lots of other commuters are in the same situation.

About 76% percent of all Americans also commute solo. But here in Houston, Brooks says new transit options could mean fewer lone commuters in the future.

“It’s really a choice of what’s possible based on current options for each person and their current work schedule, but then also the comparative cost both in time, money,” says Brooks.

Government figures show about 5% of all Americans use public transit to get to work. Here in Texas that figure currently stands at about 1.6%. In Houston less than 3% of commuters ride the bus or take the train. 


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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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